At 1 a.m. last Thursday, Miami Beach Police discovered a short, bullish man wandering on the Rivo Alto bridge. He was wearing blue jeans and a dark shirt, and his face was covered in hideous purple bruises.
This man -- who once sued Goldrush strip club over a $19,000 bar tab, uses chimpanzees as commercial props and founded the behemoth law firm the Ticket Clinic -- was Mark S. Gold. And he was going to jail.
Police charged him with felony battery. He roughed up his fiancée, police say, after the five-foot-five lawyer discovered some Facebook material involving her that infuriated him.
Gold declined to discuss specifics with Riptide, but his attorney, Chris Lyons, lambasted Miami Beach police for "not conducting a complete investigation prior to arresting Mr. Gold. Unfortunately, whoever calls 911 first becomes the victim, and the other person is arrested." Gold, through his attorney, expressed confidence his name will be cleared in the courts.
For the moment, however, it's unclear what the flamboyant attorney will do next.
But if a previously unreported incident in 2002 is any hint, he may sue someone, because he's Mark Gold -- and that's what Mark Gold does. In the decade-old case, Gold sued the City of Miami Beach because he claimed a traffic stop caused him grievous mental harm. The traffic stop in question came October 26, 2002, when Gold was pulled over for allegedly driving recklessly.
Here's how Gold described the nightmare that followed: An officer named Thamyris Cordelle asked him to step out of the car when Gold demanded to know why he'd been pulled over. When Cordelle approached the attorney, Gold said, he tried to discover the officer's name by looking at his name tag. Cordelle, Gold alleged, "became enraged" and said, "You want to know my name? Anyone who wants to know my name can read it on the arrest report! You are under arrest for reckless driving."
The ensuing citation "falsely described a driving pattern that I didn't commit," Gold said. "[I] was solely arrested because [I] attempted to ascertain his name."
Gold, having forged a prodigious career out of such boondoggles, took it to trial, where, he said, Cordelle "perjured himself by testifying to fictitious and false matters." (Cordelle, who couldn't be reached for comment, denied that charge in the suit.)
Gold was apparently anguished over the traffic stop. In his complaint, he said he was owed more than $15,000 because he'd suffered "disability, disfigurement, mental anguish, loss of capacity for the enjoyment of life, expense of hospitalization, medical care, and treatment, loss of earnings, and aggravation of a previously existing condition."
Pressed for details in January 2004, Gold changed his story about that whole medical bill thing. "I received no medical treatment, either psychological or physical subsequent to the event," he wrote in a letter to Cordelle's attorney.
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The suit was dismissed, and now the Ticket Clinic owner has a new court battle on his hands.